Reviews of The Fossmill Story
Friends of Algonquin Park
This is one of the best researched, best written, and best illustrated
Algonquin Park books it has been our pleasure to review.
from the What's new section of the 2000 park visitors guide
Published late last summer, it tells the story of a little village on
the now defunct Canadian National Railway line that used to run across
the northern part of Algonquin. Fossmill was actually outside the
Park but the Fassett Lumber Company, which established the village, also
constructed its own logging railroad south from the village into the Park
and right to the shores of Manitou and North Tea lakes up in the north
west corner of Algonquin. The village and its railroad into the Park
prospered from 1924 to 1930 but, with the Great Depression and a disastrous
fire in the company’s mill, it gradually declined and was finally abandoned
in the 1940s. The father and son team of Doug and Paul Mackey have
done a masterful job of conveying the details of how the men and their
families worked and lived in the little company town and how they affected
During their research Doug and Paul found some amazing early movie footage
of the whole operation and we are pleased to make it available to Park
history buffs in video format, and to display it at the Visitor Centre
during the week of July 20 to 27, concurrent with a fuller review in that
week’s issue of The Raven. Some people like the book better and other
people prefer the movie. Either way it’s a great story well told, and we
heartily recommend it to you.
and from The Raven the Friends of Algonquin Park weekly newsletter
A Ghost of Algonquin Past
It is very easy for Park visitors to get the wrong idea of Algonquin's
human history. Most people who come to the Park live in cities or other
environments quite different from the one they see here. They aren't really
equipped to interpret the subtle signs of past human involvement with a
place that seems so wild. Besides, they aren't really expecting any such
involvement because, to most people, a 'park' means a place preserved in
a completely natural state.
Over the years we have made a few attempts to show just how great our
human impact has really been on Algonquin but we will be the first to admit
that we have barely scratched the surface of a truly huge subject. That
is why we are always delighted when someone comes along to reveal in depth
some fascinating chapter about Algonquin Park history that we, ourselves,
weren't even very much aware of.
We can hardly give a better example than a stunning new book published
just last summer by Doug and Paul Mackey entitled The Fossmill Story :
life in a railway lumbering village on the edge of Algonquin Park. We say
stunning because Doug and Paul's book is not only meticulously researched
but it is also lavishly illustrated with a treasure trove of hundreds of
photos of the town and its people and it is enlivened with scores of eye-witness
accounts by former Fossmill residents interviewed in their old age. We
can't reprint the whole book here, of course, but we will touch on a few
highlights and encourage you to get a copy and see for yourself why we
are so impressed.
Now, if you look at our map to see just where Fossmill was, you will
see that it wasn't actually in the Park itself. This might seem to confirm
your initial suspicion that Algonquin should have been spared this kind
of development. We hasten to point out, however, that Fossmill never would
have existed if it hadn't been for the Park and it was inside Algonquin
that its people and industry had their most significant impact. Fossmill
was located just eight kilometres from the northern boundary of Algonquin,
on the main east-west Canadian National Railway (CNR) line joining eastern
Canada with the west. Shortly after that line was built through Algonquin
Park in 1915, a man from northeast of the Park named Foster saw the promise
of the railroad as a way to transport logs and he built a small sawmill
at a place where the Wasi River conveniently provided water. 'Foster's
Mill' soon became shortened to 'Fossmill' but it was only in 1924 that
the name really got on the map. That was the year that the Fassett Lumber
Corporation moved its operations and workers from Fassett, Quebec (on the
north shore of the Ottawa River between Ottawa and Montreal) and built
a new town and mill at Fossmill.
What really attracted the company's management was the hardwoods in
the nearby northeast corner of Algonquin Park south of Fossmill. That section
of the Park had already been logged over twice for White Pine (including
by the famous J.R. Booth) but the first loggers had ignored the hardwoods
(like Sugar Maple and Yellow Birch) because those trees don't float and
can't be transported by water the way conifers can be. The Fassett people,
however, had a plan they knew would work. Just as they did in Quebec, they
would use a specially geared locomotive to haul hardwood logs to their
mill on a rough, up-and-down railroad that they would audaciously build
into the hinterland. Indeed, by the end of their first year, the company's
new line already connected their mill with Algonquin's north boundary.
By 1928, they had extended it to a length of 12 miles (almost 20 km) right
to the shore of Manitou Lake, well into the Park. The next year, having
taken all the timber they wanted from the Manitou sector, they lifted the
last mile or so of rails, and diverted south for another 4.5 miles, where
they used an interesting switchback arrangement to descend right down to
the water at the northern tip of North Tea Lake.
There, the logging train could tap into a huge supply of hardwood logs
brought down from the hills surrounding North Tea Lake (fourth largest
in all of Algonquin Park) and then hauled across the ice to the log dump
at the southern terminus of the railway. Some of this cross-ice hauling,
by the way, was done by the traditional horse-drawn sleighs but the company
was also a pioneer in the use of trucks and powerful tractors. The tractors
could pull many loaded sleighs at once, one behind the other, eliminating
the need for many teams of horses.
Whether the logs came from the big log dump at North Tea or from smaller
dumps along the rail line itself, it was the job of the trainmen to supply
the logging camps out in the bush and to bring back one trainload of 500-800
logs to the mill every day. At about five a.m. each morning, six days a
week, the train would head south from Fossmill into the Park. The locomotive
was always in reverse, at the back of the line, and pushing the empty cars
ahead of it. This method was used because there was no place to turn around
and, of course, when they came back loaded it was better to have the locomotive
at the front of the train.
In 1929 alone, the train took between 150,000 and 175,000 logs out to
the mill. Peak production was about 1,500,000 board feet a month of sawn
lumber and the men, paid an average of $3.00 a day for a ten hour day,
six days a week, were envied by the less prosperous farmers to the north
and west of Fossmill. The whole operation seemed a model of efficiency
and was the subject of more than one admiring article in the forestry press
of the day.
Nevertheless, big troubles were not long in coming. On September 2nd,
1929, a spark from the train ignited a fire just inside the Park boundary
that, in the next 11 days, burned over 16 square kilometres of forest and
in the process destroyed one railroad bridge, two old logging camps, one
new camp, and over 1000 logs awaiting transportation to the mill. The next
year the train had already started three more fires by the end of May,
including one that destroyed another 186 hectares. The Park Superintendent,
totally fed up by this time with the company's poor safety practises, ordered
it to curtail its hauling operations to the night hours when the risk of
fire was much reduced.
Of course, 1929-30 was the start of the Great Depression and the Fassett
Lumber Corporation was hit hard like just about everybody else. Sales fell
as much as 80%, the average wage was cut to $2.00 a day, and sometimes
the operation was shut down completely and the men laid off. Just to make
matters worse, at the end of September 1930, a two-day fire in the backlog
of unsold lumber (possibly started by someone hoping it would bring about
the re-opening of the mill) burned over 12.5 million board feet.
Actually, the Fassett Corporation and Fossmill limped along much better
than most other logging companies and communities over the next few years,
but 1934 was the crusher. At the end of May, a train wreck on the main
CN line right in Fossmill narrowly missed blowing the village to smithereens.
(The train was carrying a load of dynamite which, fortunately, did not
explode, although the wreck did kill one hobo who was 'riding the rails'
looking for work as so many did in the hungry thirties.) In July, a freak
snow storm left so much snow on the ground that sleighs could be used,
and then, in August, the final disaster struck. On the 26th, in the space
of just 45 minutes, the mill, then valued at $250,000, burned to the ground,
leaving nothing but twisted piles of metal and machinery, 100 men out of
work, and their families with almost no hope.
The company could not rationally decide to rebuild, most families had
no resources or possibility of relocating anywhere else, and the majority
had to go on relief. Only very slowly, over the next ten or fifteen years,
did Fossmill finally disappear. For a while, there was a bit of work cleaning
up the mess at the mill site and lifting the rails from the logging railway
in the Park (completed in the early 1940s). A few young men went off to
World War II and slowly the older, unemployed workers and their families
drifted away, most notably to the new, nearby lumbering village of Kiosk
in Algonquin Park itself.
The Fossmill story had come to an end. Today, just a few decades later,
it would be entirely unknown except for the energy, interest, and enthusiasm
of Doug and Paul Mackey. All those of us with an interest in Algonquin
Park history owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for rescuing the facts,
photos, and recollections that comprise their outstanding book. It goes
without saying that we recommend it highly.
And That's Not All!
During the course of their research for the new book, Doug and Paul also
uncovered some amazing film footage of the Fossmill operations (including
the railroad into the Park). Two years ago they produced this in the form
of a special video, Logging by Rail in Algonquin Park. Like the book, this
video is available at the Park's two bookstores, at the Visitor Centre
and the Logging Museum. Also, all this week in conjunction with this edition
of The Raven, we will have a station set up at the Visitor Centre with
continuous showings of this remarkable and rare footage.
A US publication on logging and lumbering history, and modeling
P.O. Box 219 Hillsboro, OR 97123 1-800-821-8652
Fossmill is just one of the many stories from this region of Canada,
and is representative of dozens of other operations of the time.
The Fossmill story alone covers its operation from 1924-1946. But this
is more than that – the story is expanded to cover Fossmill's earlier history
in Fassett, Quebec and the post history at Kiosk in Algonquin Park. The
Park itself had been set up as a forest reserve for the lumber industry.
There are over 350 photos, maps and illustrations in this book. Although
you get a good share of family photos and such, a good portion of them
are of logging, lumbering and the associated railroad operations. One of
the illustrations is the floor plan of the mill. Another illustration shows
the layout of a logging camp. And many of the maps detail the railroad
You also get interview with some of the folks who lived this story along
with the well researched text. This is a very comprehensive and interesting
view of the area and the times.
We have seen a number of books on Western Canadian logging, here's your
chance to learn about the logging above the Great Lakes region of Canada.
(Se a review of Logging
By Rail in Algonquin Park from same issue)
Ontario Historical Society Bulletin
From the Bookshelf
By Pat and Chris Raible, Editors
The Fossmill Story: Life in a Railway Lumbering Village on the Edge
of Algonquin Park. By Doug Mackey and Paul Mackey. Past
Forward Heritage. 224 pages. Illustrations. $29.95 softbound. Companion
video: Logging by Rail in Algonquin Park. $29.95.
The focus of this fine book is Fossmill, a lumbering town: created in
1920s, survived through the depression of the 1930s, died In the, 1940s,
An extraordinary amount of research effort, organizational ability, writing
competence, and designing skill have all been combined to relate the history
of a small place over a relatively short period of time, The result is
quite wonderful. The authors have also produced a fascinating video using
archival (early 1930s) film and still photographs to describe the logging,
mill and railway operations of the Fassett Lumber Company.
Branchline: Canada's Rail Newsmagzine
December 1999 By Paul Bown
The Fossmill Story - Life in a Railway Lumbering Village on the Edge
of Algonquin Park by Doug and Paul Mackey.
If you are interested in logging, logging railways or life in a logging
town this is definitely the book to have. The authors are from the
area and had an interest in local history. From this interest this
book emerged. Over 50 individuals were interviewed in gathering together
an accurate historical picture. The history starts with the Fassett
Lumber Company in Fassett, Quebec, on the Ottawa River just east of Montebello.
The logging operation there was serviced by the Salmon River and Northern
Railway. When this area had been logged out the operation and much
of the railway equipment was moved to Fossmill, at the west side of Algonquin
This book covers all the aspects the logging industry. Much of
the book focuses on the life in a logging town but this ties in well to
the history aspect of the work. The book is loaded with photos covering
lumbering, the mill operation, the railways and family life. A number
of maps and diagrams are included so that one can put description items
into a location context. A number of photos in the book are stills
from the film that the company had made during the depression to try to
market its lumber in England. (The film is available as the excellent video
Logging by Rail in Algonquin Park).
Life in a lumber town could be harsh, especially during the depression,
and this is well portrayed in the volume. The operation was not without
its share of disasters as fire was an ever present hazard. The final
mill fire in Fossmill was in 1934 and the operation there was wound down
as the stored lumber was shipped out. The lumber workers moved to
a new operation and mill in Kiosk within the Park boundaries. This
mill was destroyed by fire in 1973 and this terminated any mill operation
within the park.
There are good descriptions of the railway equipment owned by the operation,
Shays and Barnhart log loaders, plus some sidebars on other rail operations.
I found this a most enjoyable read and an excellent window into one
of Canada's important resource industries during the boom years in the
first half of the century. The book is 224 pages, 8.5" x 11" landscape
format, soft bound with over 325 photos plus maps and diagrams.
(See Branchline review
of Logging By Rail in Algonquin Park)
North Bay Nugget
Monday December 6th 1999
Book brings bustling mill town back to life
BY GORD YOUNG
Once a thriving mill town on the northwestern edge of Algonquin Park,
now all that remains of Fossmill are imprints of one-time buildings and
the memories of those who lived there.
“I started out fascinated with steam trains, but now it's the whole
personal aspect,” said Paul Mackey. “That's more interesting than rickety
old railroads and romantic lumber operations.”
In The Fossmill Story, Mackey and his father Doug have brought the legacy
of the vanished Chisholm Township logging community back to life.
The recently published book describes the birth of a town and the rough
conditions and dangers faced by lumberjacks and their families. It
follows the town through tragedies, the Great Depression, fire and demise.
“You talk to these people and they wouldn't have it any other way,”
said Doug, at a book signing Saturday at the North Bay Mall, The former
Chisholm reeve says it may come across as sad, but The Fossmill Story is
a happy one.
Many of the villagers interviewed recalled how they used to swim In
the Wasi River, fish in the surrounding lakes and streams, or how they
would attend card parties and dances.
“Many of them have made trips back at least once or twice in their life.”
Based on more than 50 interviews with former residents, newspaper articles,
archival material, and more than 350 photographs, maps and illustrations,
the book looks at life in the 1920s and '30s in a logging community through
the eyes of the children who grew up there and the men and women who built
“Some of these people are 70 to 80 years old but at the time they were
13 or 14,” Paul said. “You're hearing the story from a child's
point of view and as old people looking back.”
Fossmill was a company town of Fassett Lumber Corp. of Hull, Que.
By 1924, the company had clearcut its limits In the mountains behind Fassett.
It relocated to Fossmill and workers who wanted to keep their jobs were
forced to move.
The mill operated for 10 years until it was destroyed by fire.
Most of the residents resettled in Kiosk in Algonquin Park.
Now consumed by nature Fossmill has faded into legend and folklore.
Doug, who has visited the site on occasion, said the only residents
now are beavers and Canada geese who have settled in the hot pond (a heated
water source in the winter to soak and soften logs for cutting).
General interest has turned into a full-time passion for the father-and-son
team, Both avid historians, they worked nearly four years on the book and
earlier released a video with vintage turn-of-the-century footage.
Pembroke Daily Observer
Thursday October 14, 1999
The Fossmill Story:
From birth to death, the life of a company town
By Andrew Wagner-Chazalon, Staff Writer
The Fossmill Story is a compelling tale of the birth, life and
death of a town.
For 10 years the Fassett Lumber Corporation ran Fossmill, a mill town
on the northern edge of Algonquin Park. Fassett created the town in 1924,
and when the company moved away in 1934, the town began to die as well.
The Fossmill Story relives, that decade. Using newspaper clippings,
archival documents, and interviews with more than 50 former residents or
their descendants, Doug and Paul Mackey have created a vivid depiction
of a community that is now all but forgotten.
The tale begins in the 1880s, with a white pine lumber operation near
Montebello, Quebec. That company grew into the Fassett Lumber Corporation
and by the 1920s it had cut nearly all the timber on its land.
With the advice of a talented woods superintendent, jack McGibbon, the
company decided to relocate to Fossmill, near Powassan, Ontario. There
it planned to cut hardwood on the Algonquin Park lands, which J.R. Booth
had stripped of white pine a generation earlier.
In 1924, the company closed its mill in Fassett, Quebec and built a
new operation in Fossmill.
Most of its workers moved with the company, giving up their homes in
a well-established Quebec town to live in a rugged bush town.
Carpenters were hired to build the mill, a boarding house, the stables,
and other company buildings including houses for McGibbon and mill manager
Most of the workers built their own homes, simple board structures,
which they built as quickly as possible in their off-work hours. Those
homes were owned by the company – built on company land using company materials
– and the residents paid the company rent.
Just about everyone who lived in the town worked for the Fassett Company,
cutting lumber in the mill, which operated, nearly year-round. The logging
was done each winter by jobbers, independent contractors who brought in
their own crews, set up their own camps, and were paid according to the
volume of wood they cut and hauled.
The Mackeys describe the business in detail. They describe the work,
the pay scale, and the realities of camp life, which was often harsh and
often dangerous “Jumpers would protest poor camp conditions by leaving
for another camp, while at least one camp of Finnish workers overcame the
problems of dirt and insect infestations by building a sauna, which they
After the foreman, the most valued workers in the camp were the blacksmith
and the cook, who earned $100 a month and $90 a month respectively.
The base rate of pay for workers was $40 a month, while the woods superintendent
McGibbon earned $150 a month and a company house for his family.
The Fossmill Story describes every inch of the logs’ progress as they
were felled, bucked into lengths, and hauled to the mill using horses,
tractors, and trains. The book follows the logs through the mill, from
a wash in the “hot pond”, through to the lumberyard where pilers stacked
the wood to dry.
The book also follows the fortunes of the Fassett company, assessing
its ability to make a profit by marketing everything from high grade lumber
to hemlock bark for tanning and laths for house building.
The company survived forest fires in 1929 and 1930, but like most firms
began to struggle during the depression.
It kept going but in 1934 the town sustained a mortal blow when the
mill burned to the ground. With its timber supplies all but exhausted,
the company decided not to rebuild.
But while most of the town’s workers scraped together what work they
could or went on relief, others looked to rebuild nearby. Former Fassett
Company executive Sidney Staniforth teamed up with McGibbon to set up a
new company on another former Booth territory at Kiosk, just 23 kilometers
down the track from Fossmill.
Many of the former Fassett workers began to commute and for another
decade or so Fossmill lived on as the town where the women and children
By 1950, most of the families had moved to Kiosk and Fossmill was all
but gone. Kiosk also eventually died down- a fire destroyed the Goodman
– Staniforth mill there in 1973. The 1974 Algonquin Park master plan curtailed
new mill construction and cancelled timber licenses in favour of selective
cutting managed by the new Algonquin Forestry Authority.
The provincial government eventually bought and bulldozed the houses,
and now Kiosk is the site of an Algonquin Park campground.
The Mackeys have not only told the story of Fossmill, they have illustrated
it – during their interviews, with former residents, they were loaned hundreds
of photographs of the town and its residents, and every page of the Fossmill
Story is rich with illustrations.
They have also reissued a film of the Fassett Lumber Corporation’s operations,
commissioned by the company in 1934 as an advertising promotion.
The Fossmill Story is published by Past Forward Heritage, and retails
for $29.95. Future publishing ventures include The Kiosk Story, and The
Booth Track, about the Nipissing and Nosbonsing Railway.
Paul Mackey is one of the speakers at the cultural heritage tourism
conference taking place next week in Pembroke.
THE HUNTSVILLE FORESTER
Wednesday, October 6, 1999
Fresh approach to logging history
by Eleanor Kidd.
Book Review: The Fossmill Story, authors Doug and Paul Mackey, published
by Past Forward Heritage, reviewed by Eleanor Kidd.
Many books have been written about the volatile logging industry in
the early years as Canada grew into a nation. The authors of The Fossmill
Story have adopted a fresh approach which allows all readers to understand
and appreciate the trials and rewards of living in an isolated area and
working in such an exacting business.
It is worthwhile at the onset to examine the Mackeys’ key goal, “an
in-depth study of the life cycle of the transitory existence of a company
in its various reincarnations over time with an emphasis on the life and
times of the people and personalities involved.”
We all understand today the horrendous effects clear cutting has had
on the virgin forests and the environment. Those towns based on logging
moved on to a new area one the trees were depleted and the cycle was, then,
We know how necessary railway transportation was in order to deliver
the logs and the finished product. What this book offers the reader, beyond
the specifics of logging and the subsequent onerous tasks such an industry
entails, is the human aspect.
In this authors also excel. Their many interviews of people who lived
in Fossmill and the surrounding area provide a wealth of intriguing anecdotal
material that makes the story burst into life. You are there in this remote
area on the edge of Algonquin Park, experiencing their day-to-day joys,
problems and tragedies from 1924 – 1946.
As you peruse the large collection of superb photographs and read the
fascinating narratives, you will feel that you know these people personally.
You will discover the difficulties of teaching in this outpost. Most teachers
left after one or two years.
The students, most particularly the boys, were tough. Think of a one-room
school with an enrolment of 50 and grades ranging from one to 10. The year
is 1927. In walks Ted Priest, the new teacher, fair game for the rougher
boys. Immediately he is challenged by a 5’11” youngster who, after some
impudence, refused to leave. The teacher marched forward, picked up the
double wooden desk with the boy in it, and transported it and hi outside.
Respect was won.
Dangers abounded from the icy cold winters and the moving of heavily
loaded log sleds across frozen lakes, which occasionally broke open to
many dreaded fires, one of which eventually doomed Fossmill. The Depression
of the 1930s also contributed significantly to its demise.
The authors, whose passion for this project, is evident throughout the
book are avid historians and excellent research credentials. The extensive
appendix is a valuable addition, including short biographies of some inhabitants,
pictures and details of those interviewed, as well as a helpful glossary.
A companion to their video, Logging by Rail in Algonquin Park, this book,
a bargain at $29.95, will be treasured as you find yourself again and again,
looking back at ‘unforgettable moments in our history. It is available
in Huntsville, Bracebridge and Algonquin Park at all fine book outlets.
Almaguin News, Wednesday, September 22, 1999
New book on Fossmill brings an era to life
By Astrid L. Taim
POWASSAN: “Sunday, August 26, 1934, started out as an ordinary day off
work in the lumber mill at Fossmill (Ontario). So far, 1934 had been an
eventful year: a motion picture company from England came to Fossmill to
make a movie about the company; the pulp cutters in South River went on
strike; a CNR train, carrying dynamite, derailed in the centre of Fossmill,
killing a transient rider and almost forcing the evacuation of the village;
it snowed in July, and Elzire Dionne from nearby Corbeil gave birth to
So begins one of the most fascinating stories ever told about a lumber
town in the Highlands of Almaguin. One that doesn’t even exist anymore.
And hasn’t for some time.
Written by former reeve of Chisholm Township, Doug Mackey and his son,
Paul Mackey, and published by Past Forward Heritage of Powassan, it’s a
book on one of the early 20th century lumbering giants in Chisholm Township,
the Fassett Lumber Corporation.
What is so unique about The Fossmill Story is that it is about life
in a railway lumber town as remembered by those who live it.
Fossmill was located in Chisholm Township on the edge of Algonquin Park,
close to where Doug Mackey and his family of five children set up permanent
residence after years as cottagers.
From the boom years of the 1920s and the bust years of the Great Depression,
readers will discover over the course of 224 pages and some 350 pristine
photographs, maps and illustrations, not what life “might” have been like
in a lumber town like Fossmill, but what it actually was to live then.
Doug and Paul have painstakingly recreated the town as a living portrait.
One that the reader feels they can actually reach out and touch.
Relying on over 50 interviews with former inhabitants of Fossmill and
Kiosk, newspaper articles, and archival material, The Fossmill Story is
one of the most exciting sagas to hit local bookshelves in recent memory.
Best yet, it is not just a book for history aficionados, rail buffs
or industry supporters, it has appeal for anyone who likes a ‘good read.’
Although it does include plenty of technical information on the logging
industry, thankfully backed up by supporting visuals, The Fossmill Story
also covers the lives of the ordinary bush workers, their vegetable plots
and flower gardens, social activities, right up the ladder to the company
Not restricted to just Chisholm Township the Mackey’s book include Trussler
Bros. Operations in nearby Trout Creek as well as the Standard Chemical
Plant in south River.
Mackey said, “What happened in Fossmill and Kiosk is generic. The same
things happened in other mills and lumber operations.”
The Fossmill Story is a story not just about local history, but history
in general, as what happened everywhere in the province where there was
a tree still left standing after the turn of the century.
Fossmill was a company town of the Fassett Lumber Corporation of Hull,
Quebec. When the company had clearcut its entire timber limits in the mountains
behind Fassett by 1924, it moved its operations to Fossmill. Ten years
later, it was all over when the mill here was destroyed by fire.
“Around five o’clock someone at the ball game saw black smoke rising
from the direction of Fossmill. The players heard the shrill sound of the
mill’s steam whistle over the crack of the bat and the shouts of encouragement
from onlookers. Soon everyone was looking toward the village at a cloud
of smoke billowing over the tops of the trees … “’Oh my God, something
is burning at Fossmill.’”
Kiosk right in Algonquin Park, was a company town of the Staniforth
Lumber Company and over the years after the fire at Fossmill, it was where
On Friday the 13th, 1973, it all came to a fiery end as within 90 minutes,
the blaze consumed four hectares of buildings and yards, leaving 234 employees
out of work and affecting a total of 600 people when their families were
Twenty-five years after the fire, a Kiosk Reunion Committee still organizes
an annual reunion. And ironically, a current road map, which includes all
the new road names in Chisholm Township, still includes Fossmill, even
though it has been gone for 50 years.